New 3DS Models Announced

Nintendo has just recently announced 2 new 3DS models, and the upgrades go beyond looks. So what’s different? Let’s take a look!

The two models are set to be replacements for the original 3DS and the 3DS XL. Both models have some extra buttons not on the current model of 3DS, including 2 more shoulder buttons, and a second thumbpad which is called the C-Stick (which harkens back to the Gamecube’s C-Stick, and the Nintendo 64’s C Buttons.)

The New 3DS
This is the new 3DS XL model. The “C-Stick” can be seen top left of the 4 main buttons.


Button colors are most likelyt to be reminiscent of the Super Famicom controller.
Button colors are most likelyt to be reminiscent of the Super Famicom controller.


Due to the new buttons, some other features have been relocated. The card slot has been moved to the front, and the charging port it now in the middle of the back, next to the IR port.

Also, the new systems both take Micro SD cards as opposed to the standard SD cards that the “old” systems required. I imagine this was used to save space.

The New 3DS
Here are the two extra trigger buttons and the relocated charging port.
The New 3DS
And here shows the front, including the relocated card slot, headphone jack, power button, and stylus slot.


However, it’s not just buttons and looks. The screen and CPU are getting upgrades as well.

One major complaint about the 3DS was the fact the 3D effect only works if you look straight at the system. This caused some people some discomfort when playing for too long. However, the new 3DS can adjust the screen depending on the viewing angle of the person by using the built in camera. This means, whatever angle you’re looking at it, the 3D effect should stay!

And Nintendo even claims that it can adjust to tilt and rotation by using the built in accelerometer!

But it doesn’t stop there, the new systems can also adjust screen brightness based on ambient light via a light sensor similar to some smartphones and tablets.

The New 3DS
A slide from Nintendo. The new 3DS can adjust to different viewing angles by using the built in camera and accelerometer.


The CPU in the 3DS is getting an upgrade too. This is good, as the 3DS CPU was a bit dated. However, this also means that some games will be designed for the new 3DS’ buttons and CPU and will not be compatible with the current 3DS/2DS models.

In fact, there has already been an announcement of one game that will not be compatible with the current 3DS systems. This means that Nintendo is taking a gamble with possibly splitting their 3DS users.

The New 3DS
The New 3DS will be released in Japan on October 11th for 16,000 yen (approx $154) for the standard model and 18,800 yen (approx $181) for the XL.


So my thoughts?

First of all, I really really like my 3DS XL. It is a fantastic system, and although the DS was a good system, the 3DS improves on it in every way. And yes, I’m including the 3D, even though I seem to be one of the few that really likes the 3D feature.

But I’m not so sure about this new model because I feel that it is an unnecessary half step forward. Nintendo already made a Mario Kart, Animal Crossing, StarFox, Legend of Zelda, etc… for the 3DS which won’t take advantage of the new buttons or extra CPU power of the new models. So if they’re going to make a new handheld that has games the old system can’t run, why not just go all the way and make a new system?

But then again, maybe the idea is that Nintendo will now be able to start over and make a new Mario Kart, Legend of Zelda, etc… With more buttons and more CPU horsepower, they may be able to convince people to get new Nintendo 3DS games, even though they already made ones from the same franchise for the current 3DS.

Either way, I believe this will split the 3DS community, and segregate the 3DS library. If you’re going to make a system that plays games the old model can’t, you might as well skip to the next generation. Sony actually managed to update the PlayStation Vita without segregating their library, and although the 3DS upgrades are nice, I wish they would have followed Sony’s approach.

But in the end, they do look like nice systems, and if the new exclusive games are as good as what’s already on the current 3DS, then I’ll probably cave and get one.

Besides, Super Famicom style buttons FTW!

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